Author Topic: AMALGAMATION: TREATING GOLD ORES  (Read 29790 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2011, 03:23:31 PM »
So as per advice to my fellow Filipino T. hunters, if ever you come to encounter, strange , really very strange "chemical", just be very careful, it might be the Uranium traded for Gold by the Japs from the germans.
Germans invented the first jet powered fighter plane, the "Hienkel", Allied forces was so shocked to find in Japan tunnels and portals, Japanese zero fighters that was Jet engined when they, the americans were yet using propeller driven crafts!!!!
The present US fighting jet crafts were patterned from what they learned from the Jap craft technology, even thier present mighty technologically advanced subs,, were just a mere pattern from the Royal Japanese Submarines. Call me if you want i have proofs....

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3477
  • Gender: Male
    • Southeast Asia Maritime Foundation
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2011, 04:48:44 PM »
I think that Brittan, Russia and the US obtained some of those Hienkel's after Germany lost the war. Also, some of the brilliant German inventors migrated to the US and other countries and carried on with their inventions there afterwards.

Offline ghost

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 458
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2011, 05:22:55 PM »
Maybe Ben has the point coz the Japs and the Germans then were axis ally. The Germans has the technology then but too late for the war to mass produce it. The Brits, the Russians and the Americans just got hold and divided to themselves technologies that was developed by the Germans. The V1, the V2 and that jet powered planes, even those 'super guns' that Saddam is developing then is from German technology. Those jet powered planes modified by the Russians and the Americans saw it first action during the Korean war in which the MIG 15 and the Sabre are the first ones but the Sabre was pitied by the MIG 15, thanks to the Rolls Royce jet engines built by the Brits as gift to Russia. (National Geographic Documentaries).


  • Guest
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2011, 06:14:24 PM »
This mine was occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War Two.
To prove my point, Japs would bore when there's no tunnels insight, how much convenient and better for them if there's ready made tunnel for them... They will just fortify or in other words develop it to suit there need and purpose.
TIP: This is somewhere in Agusan, where the former Banahaw mining was, presently occupied by PHILSAGA under the Australian mother mining company, the MEDUSA MINING.
They now got the listed claims but i still hold the key,, not mentioned is the "GLORY" hole, i tracked it before.. Who knows it might be one of those 175 18 petals crysanthemum site (Golden lily site)....


  • Guest
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2011, 06:17:36 PM »
watch out when i'm drunk, hehe i will be spilling beans here.
I just had a good taste of brandy that's why.


  • Guest
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2011, 08:17:22 PM »
To prove my point in the said JAP_GERMAN CONNECTION please read on the bold, italicized and underlined portion of the center paragraph......
, a cut from one of the pages from the GOLDWARRIOR book

According to Ben, Kimsu was diligent and meticulous in all his duties. Once a
Chinese slave escaped from a work crew just as a vault was about to be sealed. After
it became evident that the Japanese could not catch him, Kimsu ordered the vault
emptied, and all 270 bronze boxes full of gold bars were taken out and moved elsewhere.
On another occasion, after inspecting a site, the prince concluded that the
drawings and maps given him were not accurate, that the chief engineer had made
crafty alterations to reserve the treasure for himself. Kimsu ordered the officer
beheaded on the spot, and the order was carried out instantly.
Over three years, Ben accompanied him by plane and ship to islands as small as
Lubang, where there were treasure vaults of different sizes in progress

. At a small
island off the north coast of Mindanao, Ben saw a ship strangely camouflaged with
live trees that grew in big planters on its deck. Heavy boxes were stacked on deck,
guarded by German soldiers. Kimsu’s officers told Ben it was a German ship. They
watched as all the boxes were unloaded and taken into a cave on the island. Ben
was not sure what was in the boxes, but it was very heavy. During that period of the
war, Japanese cargo submarines were taking gold bullion to the Nazi sub base at
Lorient, France, to pay for purchases of uranium. This was part of Japan’s secret
project to develop its own atomic bomb. German U-boats and fast surface raiders
delivered the uranium to rendezvous points in Indonesia and the Philippines,
where the cargo was offloaded, then the uranium was taken by Japanese submarines
to Tokyo. Ben may have witnessed one such exchange, in which uranium was offloaded
in lead-shielded boxes, to await transfer to Japanese subs.
;) ;) ;) ::)

While Kimsu was the only one who did final inventories at any of the 175 imperial
sites, Ben said there were other teams involved in earlier stages. One, he said,
was headed by Hirohito’s youngest brother Prince Mikasa. Ben insisted that Prince
Mikasa was in Luzon for three years, which coincides with the period Mikasa was
officially attached to Japanese headquarters in Nanking. So his presence in Luzon
is certainly possible. (Similarly, Prince Takeda was officially assigned to Hanoi, but
was actually in Luzon.) Another team, he said, was headed by young Prince Asaka
Takahito, son of the Prince Asaka who ordered the rape of Nanking in 1937. We
were surprised that Ben knew the correct names of these princes. In the 1990s, we
conducted blind tests using photos taken seventy or eighty years earlier, in the
1930s, and he identified the princes correctly. He only failed to identify faces we
inserted who were not princes. We prepared these blind tests using rare photographs
provided to us by a curator of the Oriental Collection at the British Library,
and we were scrupulous about removing all identification. Ben’s ability to identify
princes who were virtually unknown outside Japan, from period photos rarely seen
outside Japan, is all the more significant when you realize that he never learned
how to dial a telephone. He assured us that ‘many men’ in white tunics with red
emblems came to visit Kimsu at San Fernando. Some were considerably older,
including Prince Higashikuni and the older Prince Asaka, who came to Luzon by
plane on inspection tours. Soldiers and officers, Ben said, were extremely careful
when these senior princes visited. On two occasions, when he went with Kimsu to
meetings in Manila, Ben observed Prince Chichibu at close range, and noticed that
he spat blood into his handkerchief, a detail that made a deep impression on Ben


  • Guest
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2011, 08:55:28 PM »
Another pics of from that American mine, occupied by Japs during war


  • Guest
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2011, 09:04:01 PM »
more pics from my agusan adventures in mining....


  • Guest
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2011, 09:20:24 PM »



COMPOSTELA VALLEY PROVINCE- It was not the best of times, but the worst of times when Diwalwal was discovered by the indigenous folk. In 1980s the country under Marcos reeled on worsening economic crisis. It was August 1983 when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated. Insurgency grew by leaps and bounds in the countrysides. A long drought scorched the ricelands and farmers were hungry.

In the mining front, by early 80s corporate copper-gold mining was already teetering down to bankruptcy level following a decade characterized by the oil shock, global recession and lingering slump of world prices of copper, then the main preoccupation of large-scale mining firms. Meantime, amidst the economic hardships, uncertainties and unemployment in the countrysides, not a many folk in the province were already learning a new living found along rivers and tributaries- gold panning.

Such was the precursor of things and forerunner of events before the gold-panning group led by a Mansaka Datu Camilo “Kamini” Banad ultimately discovered the gold of Mt. Diwata on September 23, 1983.

Kamini is now a largely unforgotten hero, and his discovery buried by the tides of events throughout the Diwalwal’s 20-year turbulent mining history.

In an interview with this writer on the anniversary of the discovery in 2002, Kamini gave his background and admitted that he first learned of gold panning in Agusan del Sur. In August 1980 he went to Bayugan III, and there onwards for almost three years he learned to pan for gold. In March 1983, when the Bayugan river dried up Kamini tried to explore Naboc river. There at his own village’s river Kamini had captured free gold, with his villagemates Eugenio “Boy” Avila and Benjamin Wenceslao. Both are now also broke.

Kamini intimated that he panned Naboc river under a recollection that the river and the mountain ranges uphill were once explored in 1973 by two Japanese named as Miyoshi and Taosio and one Filipino engineer named Isaac.

 Kamini narrated that he was one of the group of Naboc villagers hired as guides to the Japanese explorers. Their exploration reached up to the present area of depot of the Picop. Kamini recalled seeing the Japanese laying down a map every afternoon in each day of exploration, and hearing from them that a gold deposit which could be located some two kilometers away from the depot area.

Kamini’s hindsight about the gold deposit he understood from the Japanese had caused to pan for gold going upstream of Naboc river. Kamini claimed that the Naboc folk followed his group wherever they panned in various portions of Naboc river. It was a hard time amidst a long drought that had already wrought ricelands and Naboc farmers were going to gold panning in the ways he learned from Bayugan III.

Then on September 21, 1983, Kamini, Avila and Wenceslao left downstream of Naboc river to pan upstream, obviously eluding the tailing village folk. On the next day, September 22, 1983, they reached the stream a little past the Picop depot area, where they still met gold occurrences. They slept there. On September 23, 1983, they went further upstream, climbing steeply for two hours to hurdle a four-tiered stream, sampling faster on their way until they reached by a plateau that ridges down with a difficult cliff. By past noon they reached the stream of the known Balite area, below a Picop’s bridge, near where a deserted Picop bunkhouse stood, Kamini recalled.

At that vicinity Kamini sampled sand and gravel, and eureka, he easily found gold. Thinking that they were already at area near to the gold vein, Kamini then ordered Avila to cook for their lunch. Soon after partaking their lunch, Kamini instructed Wenceslao to find for signs of gold vein up along the river following Kamini’s description, as he and Avila would scour the vicinity. Later, Wenceslao returned. Kamini asked, did you find what I described? Wenceslao retorted, yes! And they went to the place Wenceslao had located to verify. Then and there,

 Kamini gushed: “Pastilang bulawan! Mao na ni! Tinuod diay ang mga Hapon!” (What a plenty of gold! This is it! The words of the Japanese are indeed true!).

The sight they had was actually a shattered head of the Balite gold vein that had been earlier bulldozed when Picop had its construction of the logging road. Kamini said that Picop had its road construction done from 1979 to 1983. He said that the vicinity was already logged over by Picop when they had arrived. The head of Balite gold vein that was struck during the road construction in Balite area was unknown to the Picop personnel.

The three then panned in the area, and it took them a short time to fill their small merthiolate bottle with free gold sand and nuggets they could capture after simply rotating the sand and gravel from the shattered vein materials with their pans. On the next day, the three fortunate souls returned home with a secret they had to keep only to a few in their downtrodden village.


  • Guest
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2011, 09:27:05 PM »

The gold deposit in a portion of Mt. Diwata where small scale mining later flourished was discovered on September 23, 1983 by a group of gold panners led by Camilo “Kamini” Banad, a Mansaka from Naboc, a lowland rice-producing barangay of Monkayo. The group accordingly started prospecting for gold from the lowland portion of Naboc river and explored uphill until reaching atop Mt. Diwata.

It was in the specific area later dubbed as Balite (after the wood specie abundant in the surrounding) that the group recovered plentiful supply of free gold, some nuggets of which could be easily picked by hands. The gold occurrences actually resulted from the crushed gold veins and orebodies, which were struck during the PICOP’s road expansion traversing the upper portion of Balite in the middle of 1981.

The supposed gold discovery was not known by the company’s logging personnel. For about eight months, Banad and his group clandestinely operated in the area. In due time the group returned to their village, awash with money to splurge, thus later making their co-villagers curious over their means of income.

No sooner they were tailed by their co-villagers to the highlands. In one merrymaking at the village a member of the group was said to have recklessly bared their trade secret among villagers.

Another account narrated that Mt. Diwata’s gold discovery was later divulged in public when the local police questioned a member of the group, who was suspected to be a member of a syndicate for his heavy drinking and gambling.

Shortly thereafter the news on the abundant gold deposits up in Mt. Diwata spread like a wildfire via word-of-mouth in neighboring rural villages, towns and cities. The gold rush thus began. At first the human rush took the existing PICOP road, but the company shortly restricted passage. The move caused gold prospectors to take difficult alternative routes, such as thickly forested cliffs and slippery heights. They trekked for about six hours through high slopes towards Mt. Diwata mountains, having an elevation of over 2,000 feet above sea level. It was such tortuous maneuver of opportunity seekers to reach the gold-rich Mt. Diwata that led to the monicker (Mt.) Diwalwal, a vernacular which means protrusion of tongue. The gold rush in Mt. Diwata took off and shortly, it gained national and international attention. (Police blotter)

Just before the human rush came in the area, Banad’s group and few others that managed to locate the place recovered gold basically through the panning technology. Pioneering groups worked their way by draining down through the river the crushed earth from cliffs and mountainsides known to contain gold deposits.

However, at the broader start of Mt. Diwata’s gold rush, resource recovery inevitably took a chaotic form. As population rushed in, intense squabbles over mineable areas took place. In their frantic search for gold, they panned and dug shallow pits, holes and tunnels anywhere within Mt. Diwata range- along a river and its tributaries and in skidding mountain ridges. Hard rock mining or underground tunnelling inevitably came to its being.

Pioneer diggings and tunnels were however most concentrated in areas where gold veins were earlier struck. In those areas, groups operated closely adjacent to each other. No sooner settlements and service establishments were formed along the road, concentrating around productive tunnels and stretching in a six-kilometer distance towards the gold-rich Balite area. The once forested area was ultimately transformed into a bustling small scale mining area.

In the earliest years of mass exploration, when pits and tunnels were still shallow, Mt. Diwata’s gold operation took a collectivist mode, as it was usually done by a group of friends, villagemates or kins. Altogether they pooled their limited resources for food and material supplies and collectively shared manual labor.

After hitting the gold vein, the proceeds would be first used to refund the expenses incurred by member/s, then allocated to food and material supplies for the next round of operation before the net proceeds would be equally shared by the members. Another scheme had the participation of financier/s who would first be refunded of his/their expenses before an equal sharing would be made.

A group of purely manual workers or of financier/s and manual laborers was then popularly labelled as “corpo”, which presumably had the collective control or rights to exploit for more gold when mineralization occurred underground. At the earliest, when some tunnels started producing gold, a group’s control over a particular productive group could be wrested by another group, especially following cave-ins and landslides that destroyed and covered tunnel portals.

Thereafter new squabbles took place among groups digging up new portals and racing to catch up the underground area where gold veins had last been known. Between 1983 to 1984, tunnels were also often ransacked by armed men holding up the operating group at bay. Devoid of formal rules and the presence of the government in the wilds, the rowdy situation had inevitably led many miners to arm themselves, giving Diwalwal some people’s monicker “Little Texas” or “Wild,Wild West”, reflective from foreign cowboy films, depicting scenarios where the barrel of the gun counted most in one’s survival. Thus, control over mineralized areas was largely a tough-guy engagement between and among groups.

As tunnels and their adits, locally known as destinos, reached further depths following the routes of various of gold veins and gold-bearing orebodies, new operations from different portals and their adits tried to compete and share in bigger mineralized areas underground. When latter operations came across with gold disseminations and mineralized fissures, they concentrated on areas having high potentials for gold content, knowing later they ended up traversing to passages of other operations or going to current explorations of other groups.

On the otherhand, other latter tunnels which hit separate high-grade orebodies would also be approached by existing underground players (dubbed as hangering). In using a rule of the thumb, “follow the vein principle” in various speed (dependent on the corpo’s financing, manpower and technology), tunnels ended up crisscrossing on top and sideways of each other, defying critical distances in mining standards and sparking inter-group conflicts.

Mt. Diwata’s small scale mining fitted to the process described in a study of Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, thus: “(Tunnels or adits) are shallow underground workings without defined standard mining method. The direction of the adits or tunnels is dictated by dip, strike and thickness of the veins and the concentration of gold values in the rocks.

Sizes of tunnels are often just enough for a person to crawl in. For loose ground, timber is used to support the workings. Distances between workings depend on the stability of the ground and the grade of the ore. Where high grade ore is found, tunnels are driven very close to each other resulting in the weakening of the pillars and eventual collapse of the workings. Between 5-10 miners work at a time in one adit per shift... Ores are placed (then) placed in sacks of 40-45 kgs. And carried manually to the surface and then to the (millers) for processing.

(In gold processing), ores extracted from mine workings is initially crushed manually using sledge hammer. The crushed materials are fed to the rod mill and ground for 3 to 4 hours. The ground pulp is discharged from the mill and passed to the sluice box for gravity concentration. This process collects concentrate containing the free gold along heavy materials. The tailings or waste are collected for further treatment.

The concentrate is then further ground for one and half hours using handmills. Mercury is then added and the materials are amalgamated for 30 minutes. The amalgamated pulp is discharged and the mercury-amalgam portion is then pressed through a fine cloth thereby obtaining the amalgam. This is cleaned with the use of a soap and further squeezed through the cloth to remove the excess mercury. (The amalgam is then smelted using a blowtorch releasing the mercury to the atmosphere, and thus what remains is gold).”

The foregoing process was intensive in Mt. Diwata between 1985 to mid-1989, about two years after the discovery and before the worst cave-in disaster in Balite area on May 30, 1989. In the beginning, panning and handmill processing had been used, when power generating set was still too scarce in the mining area.

By 1985 a bigger power generator had been brought up to service several tunnels and establishments in the area. Thus, other profitable operators followed suit, resulting to changes in mining technology. Shortly, the use of candles for underground illumination was replaced by flourescents and bulbs. Handmills were subsumed by ballmills- fabricated gold processing equipment having bigger lode capacity. Blowers were used to pump air to underground depths. Manual jetmatic pumps used for flushing out underground water were later replaced by electricity-run submersible pumps.

By mid-85, the viability of several tunnel operations in Mt. Diwata was evident in the start of progressive technological innovation, management and technical staffing, backward and forward linkages of several tunnel operations in the area. Except for the Blucor Minerals Corporation co-managed by local capitalists of Chinese descent, which operated tapping the style of corporate mining and the services of technical men, several competing viable tunnel operations evolved their own management structures and technological innovations. From a simple management-labor claim-and-share structure, new functions in the work chain had been introduced, while ore production increased.

In terms of manpower, the number of underground miners depended in the number of destinos (adits) and on the chosen hour-shift, which consisted of 8, 10 or 12 hours of continuous mine works depending on the physical capability of the contracting team. At the average, the entire underground work process, from gold extraction to delivery of the ores at the surface required about 30 to 40 manpower.

For the underground work, mine workers would be led by their team leaders to work on destinos respectively assigned to them by the management. Team leaders were the organizers who contracted with the tunnel management for a mine work on shift basis. They were responsible for the food supply and work monitoring for the mine workers.

After the shift they usually shared 50 percent of the bags of ores produced, after deducting 10 percent for the underground road toll, 5 percent each for the power generator and submersible pumps. The other underground workers compensated by the management at various average shares were as follows: underground supervisor, having a share of 10-20 bags per week; and head timberman, 10 bags per set, a term referred to a distance of underground excavation. Sharing with him were the 3-4 timbermen.

Later as adits went deeper, tunnel inspectors were deployed to conduct regular check on the status of the workings. Under him were the phase or destino guards deployed in all exit points and destinos underground to watch out for sneakers from other tunnels and disallowed highgrading activities. At the surface, workers employed were the 4 to 6 portal guards sharing 4 bags a week and a stock segregator, getting 3 bags per week.

As gold extraction went deeper and the grade of ore becoming lower, Mt. Diwata’s mode of gold production and processing changed with the introduction of sophisticated power tools, dynamites and cynidation plants.

Technological changes intensively occurred in the years following the most disastrous cave-in at the Balite area on May 30, 1989. The disaster badly devastated Balite’s underground, residential and commercial structures and left scores of thousands of casualties. As gold production ground to a halt, Mt. Diwata’s population estimated to have reached 80,000 during the 1987 –1988 boom period eventually thinned out.

In the next three years tunnel operators and claimants had frustratingly conducted rehabilitation efforts as they were frequently met with smaller cave-ins and landslides especially during continuous rains. A bigger fire in nearby Patindol area struck in 1991, which further interrupted the rehabilitation.

So dilapidated was the underground structures and portal structures of Balite that it was too risky to carry the ore stocks going up to the surface using the upper portals. Eventually, a group of tunnel operators moved to lower grounds and agreed to use a common portal through which they could reach their respective tunnel and adit networks.

Forced by the dilapidated and high-risk underground workings, the need for passageways to catch up the vein last struck before the disaster and the need to pool resources altogether to gain from economies of scale vis-à-vis the high capitalization for deeper mining and low-grade gold ores, smaller tunnel operations grouped – a move challenging bigger and corporatist mining operations.

The new set-up resulted to interlocking claim and sharing schemes based on one’s quality and quantity of the past tunnel and claims, importance of passageways, capital participation, degree of rehabilitation efforts and stakes on processing plants and equipment. While other smaller operations opted to sell their claims, new corpos found their way to have stakes in Balite through technical expertise, new financing, loyalty and connections.

In the late 1992 mining activities resumed but under a different scheme. The rehabilitation saw new tunnelling arrangement, technological innovation, work chain and sharing scheme. The underground area was delineated vertically downward, “tonton system” which was based of agreed old claims and networks, replacing the free-for-all claim system based on “follow the vein” principle.

In the past, the latter often resulted to indiscriminate tunnelling, encroachment and hangering activities, as tunnels batted for speed in their operations without much regard to leaving natural and fortified timberings and to the status and directions of other operations. As a result, tunnelling conflicts often broke out and unsafe underground workings were formed.

Evidently, small mining operations in Mt. Diwata after the disaster underwent technological modifications, buttressed by the entry of technical men, several of whom were formerly employed with big mining companies. Steel tramcars rolling through wooden tracks with a capacity to load 30 half-sack ores (at an average of 40 kilos per half sack) were introduced, as the main passageway was enlarged into 12 feet in height by 8 feet in width, thus eliminating the crawling in the egress and exit of mine workers in the past. Gold recovery has been maximized with the use of mini and big carbon-in-pulp (CIP) or cynidation plants and dynamite blasting, co-existing with the ballmills and the traditional manual operations.

Under the new set-up, two types of mine workers emerged: miners in manual operation and miners in dynamite blasting operation. For manual operation, a team usually composed of seven to eight miners work in adits by a six-hour shift, which maybe extended depending on the underground status.

Added in the work chain are the “trammers” (workers who transport the ores to the surface using tramcars), who would be paid in cash by the team per trip, and the “resackers” (surface workers who re-sack mixed ores before the stock sharing), per ore bag. Stock sharing for various supplies (like power, submersible pumps, sacks) and for various operation and staffing functions in lower management level were mostly eliminated. Instead, management staff are usually paid in salaries.

Stock sharing is shortened to labor-management ratio, after deduction of 10 percent for the portal toll. Supporting the underground workers are the underground supervisor, electrician and timbermen, who are either paid in salaries or per ore bag. For the blasting operation, which usually has four shifts in a day, a team of seven to eight workers work in “beat”, contiguous mine out areas bigger than the adits.

A team is usually composed of the team leader or beat supervisor, “blasters” , “sackers”, laborers, helpers trammers and re-sackers. Stock sharing scheme between the management and the team varies depending on the arrangement and status of underground areas, although the portal toll and the costs for the use of tramcar are of the same terms as in manual operations.


  • Guest
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2011, 01:02:30 AM »
Tracking down the mining history of Compostela Valley   
for everyone

At the earliest pre-Hispanic times when mining activities had been recorded in the north of the country, the mineral resource base within the territory of what was later carved out as Compostela Valley Province from the undivided Davao del Norte (Davao Province) had not been explored nor exploited for large-scale commercial or colonial purposes.

Even with the subsequent Spanish colonial mining that ultimately reached in Mindanao, the province’s mineral resources remained unscathed. This could be traced on the failure of Spain to colonize the island at its geographical entirety, except the establishment of their few forts, garrisons and missionaries in limited areas of Zamboanga, Jolo, Lanao, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental. Moreover, the resources were evidently undefiled, as settlements of migrants from Visayas had started only in 1930s, amidst the administrative call for migration of settlers from Visayan and Luzon islands in what was billed as the “Land of Promise”- Mindanao.

There was historical record- yet scarce- about the tribes’ barter of gold from the alluvial deposits from the mountains of Kingking, Pantukan in the province.

Large-scale exploitation of mineral resources in Compostela Valley had not been known until the coming of corporate large-scale mining in 1970s, although mineral explorations were reported to occur in the 50s in some parts of the province.

During the territorial expansions of various colonial governments from the north of the Philippines to Mindanao in early 1900s, the province was not reported to have been a subject of a mineral resource exploitation associated with colonization.

When the American regime (1898-1946) intensified mineral exploration first for gold in Benguet and for other strategic minerals including iron and oil later in other areas of the country, Surigao was the only area in Mindanao reported to have been explored with the declaration of Surigao Iron Reservation in 1914 and its expansion in 1937.

During the Japanese regime (1941-1945), which focused on the exploration of mineral resources used for steel and arms manufacture, the province’s mineral resource base remained untapped, unlike the more proximate Mati in Davao Oriental, whose iron deposits had been explored, along with three other areas in Mindanao, namely Sibuguey, Zamboanga del Sur; Dinagat, Surigao and Opol, Misamis Oriental for chromite deposits.

The non-exploitation of the province’s copper-gold mineral resources went on, despite the formation of migrant settlements in the province starting in 1930s, the renewed drive on gold explorations in Benguet, Surigao and Camarines Norte in the late 1940s and the take-off of copper industry in 1950s.

In early 1950s there were mineral explorations in the province particularly in the areas of Masara in Maco. There were reports about Japanese individuals exploring mountains of Monkayo in 1970s. Elsewhere in Mt. Diwata range, which has a sizeable concession of the Soriano-managed Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (PICOP), an ephemeral exploration for copper by Andres Soriano Corporation (ANSCOR) and SOREX was also reported.

Even when Compostela Valley Province was still a part of the then undivided Davao del Norte, corporate large-scale mining were located in the present towns of the province than in the areas that now belong to the chopped mother province. In 1970s Apex Exploration and Mining Company, succeeding the Samico and Inco Mining explorations, operated in Masara, Maco, while the Sabena Mining Corporation in Camanlangan, New Bataan, and in the early 80s the North Davao Mining Corporation (NDMC) in Amacan, Maco.

Large-scale mining in the province concentrated first on copper concentrate production, which have gold and silver as by-products, following the dominance of copper industry in the country beginning in 1960s. Corporate mining underwent its first slump in the middle of 1970s due to depressed world prices and large cutbacks in copper export markets, and on the second slump by the country’s economic crisis in the early 1980s.

It was notable that when corporate large-scale mining had its first slump in the 70s, free gold panning was starting up in various parts of the province notably in the rivers of Mainit, Nabunturan and of Kingking, Pantukan. During its worst decline in the 80s until the early 90s, characterized by the closure of Sabena Mining towards the mid 80s and the shutting down of NDMC in 1992, the small-scale vein-type, hardrock underground mining had then undergoing its rapid development as a small-scale industry mainly in Mt. Diwata, and in other gold rush areas in the province.


  • Guest
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2011, 01:07:05 AM »
The Small Scale Mining in Davao Province

                  The emergence of small scale gold mining industry in Davao Province (now broken into Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte provinces and the Island Garden City of Samal) as graphically shown by  the gold rush in Mount Diwata, Monkayo and Boringot, Pantukan happened in early 1980s, amidst the decline of corporate mining and following the first expansion of banana industry in 1970s and the crunch in the logging boom of 1960s. Small scale mining traced its origins from free gold panning or placer mining along  rivers, streams and their tributaries.

            In various regions in the country, gold panning emerged amidst the economic crisis in 1970s. Reeling from a crisis dominated by the oil shock and the subsequent global recession from 1973 to 1976  and triggered by the increase of price of gold in the later part of 1970s, gold panning had intensified in mineralized areas and even in areas least expected to have substantial gold deposits.

            Thus, the resulting economic hardships and  high rate of unemployment in the countrysides, coupled with the gold’s promise of high income had pushed more and more rural people, men, women and even professionals to search for placer gold along rivers and later invaded the mountains to work for gold of vein-type. Authorities noted that gold panning was then very common along the big rivers in Baguio district, Mindoro, Camarines Norte, Surigao and Agusan.

            In Davao Province, gold panning was particularly noticed in early 1970s along rivers and streams in Barangay Mainit, an interior village, 12 kilometers east of Nabunturan. One story had it that trade was ultimately introduced by Igorot mine workers from Benguet who were hired by Sabena Mining in early 1970s. Upon setting foot in Davao Province, some of them immediately fled from the clutches of the company and started exploring for gold along rivers in Nabunturan-New Bataan’s interior and upland forests. In the course of their exploration they met and befriended with Mansakas, who later learned on improved placer mining and gold tunnelling from the Igorots.

            Another version had it that the slump of Sabena towards the mid-70s had dislocated and stranded a number of hired workers from returning home. Later they went out from Camanlangan mines and explored the surrounding rivers that drain downstream at the foot of the mountainous Mainit National Park.

            It was on the latter area that free gold mining flourished to a limited degree in 1970s, when hundreds of rural villagers flocked in to learn from and engage in the trade. Portions of Kingking River in Pantukan were also known to have been explored by Mansakas and villagers  in 1970s.

            The reality of small scale mining slowly developed in the province from a confluence of circumstances. In early 1980s a number of disgruntled mine workers from Mountain Province quit their jobs in North Davao due to unfavorable working conditions. Some returned home, the others went panning for gold or engaged into high-grading, an activity where mine workers chisel high-grade portions of the gold orebodies underground. Selectively chosen, the chiselled gold ores naturally have high gold content. In the late 1970s the activity was made illegal by Presidential Decree No. 581 when miners in Benguet Mines stealthily resorted to it (Reyes). This activity later came to be one characteristic in the operation of small scale mining via underground tunnelling method or hard rock mining.

            At its earliest form in 1970s in Mainit, Nabunturan, gold panning was the cheap process of recovering free or alluvial gold using more of manual labor of a group of persons and simple equipment such as cloth, lawanit plywood, shovels, picks, kitchen pans, basin and round stones. The cloth and plywood (in reverse side), dipped in riverwaters running downstream, would be used a passageways for sand and gravel, that concentrated behind boulders or cobbles in the stream or riverbed, where free gold was believed to settle. The cloth and plywood would then be washed, retrieving the captured nuggets, fine specks or “dust” on the pan or basin.

            Large-sized placer gold could easily be picked by hand. Gold-bearing quartz, sulfides and the like would be powdered using round stones and pans. Finally, free gold would be captured through a simple beneficiating method of gravity concentration using water as the only medium without the harmful chemicals are normally used in hard rock mining. In that method, the gyration of the pan would allow gold of smallest size to settle at the bottom and separate from other lighter materials. Later, simple facilities (i.e. sluice boxes, iron screen, water hoses, motor mill) were tapped by panners for more efficient gold processing and recovery.

            Gold panning was based on the idea that free gold or placer maybe the results of shattered and eroded vein materials carried by flood waters during heavy rains that drain to  rivers or streams. Gold as a result intermixed with sand and gravel and ultimately settled down to deposition sites. Since gold has high resistance to both physical and chemical weathering and high density it ultimately settle at the bottom of the river or stream to become concentrated behind boulders and cobbles. (Abra Profile 1995, 33)

            The broader start of  the province’s small scale mining via underground tunnelling or hard rock mining can be delineated by the gold rush in Mt. Diwata and Boringot that happened in 1983. Common elements noted during the discovery of the two highland mining areas were the presence of rivers traversing a particular area which was later known to contain high-grade gold deposits, old logging roads that led to that area and the participation of  Mansakas to pioneering gold panning activities in the area.

            By 1995, sixteen small scale mining villages from five towns have been operating in Davao Province, while the rest of Region XI have six other mining villages. Throughout the country, at least sixteen provinces have small scale mining activities in their various intensity and growth stage.

            Of these, it is  Mt. Diwata which has been dominating in the history of small scale mining in the country since 1980s on at least five plausible reasons: 1) The area has the largest gold deposits discovered and recovered by small scale miners thus far; 2) It attracted the biggest mining population in a certain period of time; 3) It showcased the growth of the small scale mining industry from infancy  stage to corporatist one; 4) It is widely reported and the most controversial, particularly in terms occurrence and issues on mine disasters, pollution emission, bureaucratic deals and conflict of mining claims and area operations  against corporate mining entities; and 5) It was largely exemplified in the passage of  Republic Act No. 7076 or otherwise known as the People’s Small Scale Mining Act of 1991.


  • Guest
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2011, 07:42:17 AM »

The hazards of working with mercury;
The effects of mercuric poisoning are cumulative and it can do considerable damage if mistreated over a long period of time.
Mercury can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled in vapor form. Gloves should be worn whenever it is handled. Be sure that you are in a well ventilated area if there is any possibility of vapors forming. Avoid breathing any of the vapor at all costs.
Theory of Amalgamation

Keep the mercury clean and bright; (Masher brand is suggested, huwag iong Apollo kasi madaling mag weaken)
There are ingenious ways from local miners to keep their mercury strong in absorbing gold by treating this to a coffee, also by washing it by the juice of a certain plant and or by treating it to ice, but this is another topic.

Answers to your querries:

Amalgamation generally works best on relatively coarse gold, so if you are doing panning method be sure to learn some basic panning techniques first (another skill to be learned).
I suggest you use the Long Tom screening method first, bale salain nyo muna ang gravel or soil, collect the trapped heavies or yung maliliit na mabibigat na na trap sa fine mesh, gumamit ng balde o palanggana (basin) na may tubig.
After na collect na yung mga trapped materials sa pail or basin, scoop a right amount of the collected materials and do now the panning method (learn this skill floatation and gravity technique, paturo ka sa mga old but skilled miners in your area), you have to discard the not so heavy and collect again the heavy at ipunin (effective lang ang mercury in small samples of soils na may high grade or high concentrations of gold ang sample nyo).
Another suggestion, pwede ipa assay nyo muna mga soil or gravel samples nyo to determine its gold content, the result will be expressed in grams per ton, whereas you can then derive its grams per kilo content of gold.
At kung high grade talaga samples nyo, pwede kang maka recover thru panning method but if its not then sobrang mabagal ang method na ito.
I suggest you buy a handmill ( maganda sa sampling o pang test load, you can buy it in ballmill makers sa area nyo), and you put your collected materials in there and rotate the mill until it turns into a ludge, or young putik na talaga, then put mercury inside and mill again for half an hour. Then pour contents in a basin, slowly drain the waste (another skill to be learn again) until the mercury is left in the basin, at kung may kinain na na gold ay medyo mag bulge ang mercury.
Pour the collected mercury into at least 3-4 layers of satin cloth gaya nung cloth ng nasa payong or umbrella.
Squeze the mercury as it settled in the cloth, the mercury will then pass thru the cloth at iiwanan nya ang kinain na gold dun sa cloth, this is now what we call an amalgam.
Put the amalgam in a crucible or sa benga (pot) and fire it thru blow torch slowly (another skill), mercury in the amalgam will evaporate first (dont enhale the vapour, cover your nose and be sure you are in a well ventilated area).
When the mercury evaporized, you will see a yolk colored (reddish orange in color melted gold but in few seconds it will solidify and take its natural color of gold.
You will have then, what we call "raw gold", this is more or less 80% gold with some impurities, then next step is the process of how to refine your gold.
But that is another topic.
For more clarifications, you can however call me at mas mainam kung maka tawag ka para ma expound ko fully.

God bless.

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3477
  • Gender: Male
    • Southeast Asia Maritime Foundation
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2011, 08:05:49 AM »

Do they allow large-scale mining there in your area? I know a group looking to purchase a gold mine. What's your advice to them?



  • Guest
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2011, 04:09:40 PM »
Hi Tony,

Yes, our present government is pro mining be it large scale or small scale as long as it is sustainable.
First they must come to a joint venture with a local mining company or they can set up their own local mining company with Filipino shareholders to conform with securities exchange commission regulations of 40/60 composition ( got to check first if this has changed lately).

Then they refer to a latest issue of Mines and Geosciences Bureau's Tenement map to see whether the prospective area/areas they plan to mine is free of claim from other mining companies.
In this case i can best guide them to the whole process of claims application and not only that, i can lead them to sweet mining areas.

But however, they can also go straight to the landowner without going to the hazzles of setting up a company if you are only planning for a small scale, they can set lawful agreements of what is beneficial to both parties (investor and landowner/s, and they can apply directly for a Small Scale Mining Permit, a filipino individual can apply and or via a mining cooperative).

Small scale mining permit allows an individual or group to a minimum of 24 hectares or 1 block plus  an allowance for extension  of another hectares (got to check again also if this has changed lately).

So you see, it's easy if one just got the knowhow of the in's and out, in fact, some big mining companies have this strategy to apply many small scale mining permits (which is easy and fast as compared to large scale application).
Many small scale applications/permits thus would quantify to large, if you got what i mean.
I'll email to you later the latest perspectives about entering Philippine mining.

I can assist them if necessary.